By Reo Botes, Managing Executive, Essential Employee Benefits
In these extremely challenging economic times, many South Africans are forced to reassess their budgets and cut back on non-essential items due to inflation, reduced income and the need to prioritise essential needs. As financial priorities shift, certain ‘high ticket’ items such as healthcare might seem to be unnecessary expenses, especially for young, healthy individuals. However, the truth is that health should never be a sacrifice, and unforeseen accidents or illnesses can wreak havoc on your financial stability. Ignoring medical cover is a risk we cannot afford to take. Fortunately, there are alternatives that allow you to manage your health cover without straining your finances, and they come with a vital component: customised and affordable cover.
Look at all your options
Customised health insurance plans are designed to cater to the specific needs of businesses and their employees. These plans simplify the complex world of insurance, making it easier for you to understand and choose cover that aligns with your lifestyle. They provide expert and personalised guidance through a team of specialists ready to assist you through the insurance process, answering questions and helping you make informed decisions. Furthermore, your cover is carefully crafted to support you during critical situations, offering financial relief and assistance when you need it most.
Amid economic uncertainties, medical cover may seem like an unnecessary expense, but health is priceless. Falling ill or suffering an injury without access to proper treatment can have far-reaching consequences, impacting your work and personal life, reducing earnings, and causing unnecessary suffering. Accidents, emergencies, and chronic illnesses can strike at any moment, and paying for private treatment out of pocket can result in significant financial setbacks.
Customised health insurance plans ensure that you have suitable cover, preserving your health and financial well-being. Navigating the intricacies of medical aids, hospital plans, and health insurance can be confusing, given their varying levels of cover, limits and costs. It is a crucial decision that could shape your future, necessitating careful consideration.
For employers, partnering with a provider that offers rich benefits at a cost-effective price point is not just a wise choice; it’s an essential one. Such partnerships make private healthcare, accessible, ensuring that quality medical care is available to all. Tailor-made health insurance solutions empower employees with comprehensive cover that addresses their individual health requirements.
So, what does health insurance cover?
For day-to-day primary healthcare, health insurance (also called medical insurance) is an affordable option that will give you access to private healthcare for doctors’ visits, medication, dentistry, and optometry. Health insurance offers great protection, allowing you to make use of private healthcare, which will reduce your risk of long-term health challenges. You can also add on a hospital plan which will cover accidents and emergencies.
While health insurance is a great, value-for-money choice for a wide range of benefits, it is also important to understand that it does not cover as many chronic and dread diseases, as well as medical procedures that are considered elective (that is, not an emergency). If you want to be able to make use of a private facility for this, medical aid cover is still important, albeit that many medical aids also do not cover elective procedures. When it comes to your health, both medical aid and health insurance have their place; they can also work together, so you need to compare the right things for the right purpose and think through any major decisions carefully. Recognising the unique needs of employees is an essential element of comprehensive health insurance, a provider that tailor solutions to their specific requirements not only safeguards their health but also contributes to a healthier, more engaged workforce overall.
Making the best decision for you
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to medical cover – it is all driven by suitability and affordability. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to keep in mind that there could be consequences if you decide to discontinue your medical cover while on medical aid and later decide to enrol again. Making a knee-jerk decision can be detrimental to your health and the health of your family, and you need to always have the best cover you can afford according to your risk profile.
Selecting your medical cover type is a significant decision that requires thorough investigation. Innovation in health insurance products is the driving force behind exceptional value for money. It’s not merely about affordability; it’s about optimising the utility of every healthcare rand spent. These innovative offerings allow businesses to enhance employee benefits without straining their budgets, fostering a culture of well-being and security within the workplace. When choosing a provider, scrutinise how they offer cover, understand the limits, and learn how they work. Reach out to advisors and insurance brokers to help you make an informed choice, understanding the long-term implications, so you can make the right choice.